There is simply nothing like Thanksgiving leftovers. Nothing so fun, fast, and fine as raiding the fridge late at night for a bowl of cold cranberry sauce and stuffing or getting up before everyone else for a snack of pumpkin pie and whipped cream on Friday morning. I’m especially fond of a complete blow by blow repeat of the dinner the next night, scraping everything into oven dishes and heating it all at once for 40 minutes at 350F. And like the rest of the U.S., I totally wait all year for the post-holiday turkey sandwich —with mayo, of course. (Did you know that turkey is America’s favorite sandwich??) But at some point, there’s that last cup or two of shredded or chopped turkey sitting sadly in the back of the middle shelf with nothing else to keep it company. That’s when it’s time for turkey soup if you haven’t already done it, that is. And you can make good, old-fashioned turkey noodle or turkey-wild rice — sure you can — or you might try my Perky Turkey Vegetable-Lentil Soup, which along with sounding sort of silly, combines the filling pairing of lentils with root vegetables but also adds a splash of red wine vinegar in each bowl– hence the “perky” part.Continue reading
Need other Thanksgiving dishes? Click on THANKSGIVING in the word cloud or click on/type into the search box individual words like TURKEY, BROCCOLI, PIE, SOUPS AND STEWS, PUMPKIN, etc.Jump to Recipe
Thanksgiving breakfast gets short shrift in our world but it doesn’t mean it should. I mean, people are hungry on Thanksgiving morning, aren’t they? Or is it just a sad human bean thing to hold on for hours on holidays with nothing but coffee sloshing around in our tummies until mid-afternoon feasting? Surely we don’t need huge egg and cheese casseroles or piles of pumpkin pancakes with butter, syrup, and pork sausages (or maybe we do), but a small something like a perfectly perfecto muffin would, I think, go over a treat. Ginger Cranberry-Blueberry Muffins, based on my best blueberry muffin, can be prepped the night before by kids (or adults) — see below MUFFIN TIPS — and quickly baked long before it’s time to slide the pies, rolls, and your sweet turkey bird into the hot oven. If you’re the planning sort, they could be baked and frozen this weekend and taken out to thaw on the counter next to the big butter dish and a pile of cute napkins on Wednesday night. A little Greek yogurt with a honey drizzle would round out such a simple meal and, I think, keep you from dreaded coffee tummy. I mean, who wants that?
Just in case you want choices, I’ll include a few other muffins for you.Continue reading
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Thinking ahead to Thanksgiving? Click here for ideas for the meal and the leftovers.
It’s been a crazy sort of few weeks around our house. Which made it a great time to work on a new slow cooker meal that’s up and cooking a big pot of dinner in not too many minutes at all. Isn’t that how slow cooker recipes should be?! Welcome SLOW COOKER BLACK BEANS WITH CHORIZO AND HAM….just in time for November football games and holiday gatherings…or for just the two of you with a few quarts in the freezer for later. Move over chili, there’s another great pot in the house easy to customize with your very favorite usual suspect toppings, including crushed tortilla chips, red onions, queso fresco or Cheddar, lime crema, tomatoes, avocado, sliced jalapeños, or….
But….why has it been crazy? For quite a while, we’ve barely held our heads above water. Good pun, but you’ll need to know the story. Sad, but true.Continue reading
I know. I can’t believe there’s another plum recipe on the blog but, really, I just can’t help myself. For one thing, I had a huge windfall of plums a couple of weeks ago from old friend Helen Brockman — they’re still chilling and willing. For another, this was my week to teach the Frolicking French Fall Dinner Party cooking class and — what could be a better, nearly instant, homey French dessert than clafoutis? (cluh-FOO-tee) I had never heard of a plum clafoutis as they’re typically made with cherries and a just sweet enough custardy batter, though I make them with rhubarb, too. Purists would offer the opinion that it isn’t a clafoutis if it isn’t made with cherries but this is my kitchen, isn’t it?! And, of course, when I googled plum clafoutis, other able and thoughtful cooks have gone before me. (I shouldn’t have done it and let myself believe I’d invented the dish. Story of my life but I’ll still give myself the private credit.)Continue reading
Here in the U.S.–as opposed to the UK and Ireland where scones are a little more demure– we happily load scone dough with big chocolate chunks, any sort of fruit on hand, coconut, nuts, citrus, and often a little more sugar just because. Icing or at least a drizzle–vanilla, lemon, orange, maple, dark chocolate with salt– is not out of the question on top! And we STILL could gild that lily with a little more butter. What?? We seem to always go big or go home on this side of the Atlantic. I’ve made them every which way over time, though not yet with icing, (scroll down to IF YOU LIKED THIS… to see other More Time scones ), and being an American of Scots descent, I like to consider my options. With a big box of ripe Italian plums resting in my fridge, I opted to 1. freeze most of them for later–hello, Thanksgiving desserts and 2. make some decadent, American-style scones. Had I heard of or made plum scones before? No, but that wouldn’t stop me, would it? I just might be more American than Scots.Continue reading
What makes you feel rich? Ok, well, money would work for us all; I know. But for each of us there’s a little something or a big something (maybe more than one) that creates enough comfort in our heart to make us sigh and feel as though we need nothing more at all. Could be that once in a blue moon moment when all the wash is done and folded or perhaps after the fall garden cleanup is completed and the tulip bulbs are planted. A night after a long work project ends successfully. Close friends coming to stay for a few days. The day your afghan (or toychest) is finished, washed, and mailed. A night alone with your favorite movie of all time. (Mine is: “It Happened One Night.” That or “Michael.”) A lunchtime when the whole family is together. Might also be a full freezer. Walking a 5K; you’ll note that doesn’t say run. A case of canned tomatoes stored away for winter spaghetti sauce. For me, it’s also when there’s a slow cooker full of lusciousness bubbling all day long, promising an all-you-can-eat dinner and giving me a free day. (Hello, sleazy novel!) I feel even richer if I’ve time to bake a little something to go alongside that happy pot of goodness. A bread, simple or not, made especially to go with one particular meal. That’s really rich. This week’s jalapeño-studded peach cornmeal muffins are just such a bread. Even more so as they’re not your typical muffin. With their sweet-savory profile, they’re kind of on the special side despite their easy preparation and basically simple nature. If you’re on your toes, they’re made and baked and on the table in under 45 minutes, including preheating the oven — a must for big, round-domed muffins.Continue reading
When you’ve just come home from a month-long vacation and the much-loved older sister of your childhood best friend is traveling through town with her husband and two dogs, you have them for dinner. Of course, you do. The house may be a little musty-dusty; the yard is definitely overgrown. Since the fridge is sadly empty, it’s time run to the store, throw a couple of whole chickens on the grill, roast new potatoes with Herbes de Provence, make your best green beans with lemon, toss an apple pie into the oven, dust off a favorite Oregon Pinot Noir, and hope for the best. You choose a meal you can (nearly) make with your eyes closed and, God is good — as God is — it’s all fine. It’s all fine. It’s just so good to see old friends.Jump to Recipe Continue reading
Going on vacation next week....details at the end of the post. See you in September!
When I was a younger woman, I had no time for breakfast. Of course I choked down all the coffee I could manage and then, on high throttle, ran to catch the bus for work or jumped in the car to run kids to school. By lunch I was Starved with a capital “S” and surely ate more than I needed. I particularly remember drinking chocolate milk with my noon meal every day for one year of my short teaching career. (I also had to buy new and larger pants that year. It only takes one constant change, you see.) It wasn’t that I hadn’t been raised to eat a good morning meal; I had. Thanks, Dad. Somehow that daily oatmeal had gotten lost in the shuffle along the way, perhaps at college, much to my detriment. One fateful fall, however, weight having finally gotten the best of me, I joined Weight Watchers (WW). The doctor also called me on my caffeine habit; sigh. (I drink half-caff now so I can still have a humongous mugful.) If you know anything about WW and particularly old school WW –before points–you’ll know you must eat breakfast. You’ll fall flat on your face if you don’t. While I’m still a faithful member of the WW tribe (I’d be even larger if I weren’t), I also have become even more attached to the idea of a filling, substantial breakfast so I don’t lean into snacking or want two lunches. Plus I simply love breakfast!
Aside: Why have I done WW for so long? It keeps me honest. Can’t forget that ice cream bar if you’re tracking everything you eat.Continue reading
When the temperature soars to 90 F and above, I’m looking with a vengeance for any way to avoid turning the stove on. Sometimes even grilling or eating outdoors sounds too warm. Shades are pulled; lights are dimmed or off and yes, the AC is on, on, on during the day. I know; it’s not perfect. BUT! It is the perfect time to be able to reach into the refrigerator and just pull out dinner right along with a can of lemony sparkling water to top off a little cold Chardonnay. If it’s all in one bowl and ready to slip onto our plates, I’m even happier. Sometimes that’s a salmon pasta salad or, if we’re really lucky, it’s a quiche defrosting from the freezer or our chilled no-cook Spicy Cucumber-Feta Soup. This week it’s a silky-crunchy and perky bean and chickpea salad I’ve named PESTO BEAN SALAD. This is nothing in the world like your great aunt’s potluck 3-Bean Salad, no matter how much you loved or hated it. (I’ve never made 3-Bean Salad myself but who knows what lies ahead?) Homemade or jarred pesto is the simple summer sauce and there are enough vegetables to satisfy every mother on the planet. Fresh mozzarella lends a chewy, decadent, fatty note and since I added cherry tomatoes, there’s more than a nod toward my adored caprese. Today, a friend asked about leftovers; would this hold a few days in the fridge? “It’s lovely,” I told her. I haven’t even needed to add more dressing or seasonings. A big stir has been all it’s wanted. Can’t ask for much more in July.Continue reading